Top 10 Cloud Hosting Companies

What is Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting or clustered hosting is a web host service that uses a server network. These servers aren’t necessarily located in the same site or data center. In fact, the cloud technology allows servers to be scattered around the globe.


In general, the cloud technology allows consumers to use pooled computer resources, regardless of the servers’ geographical location. It offers a larger flexibility and better availability of resources. Cloud hosting also offers optimized performance for business-aligned sites and a better overall agility. Many large cloud hosting companies use fully-redundant networks, which include International connectivity.


On traditional servers, resources are often restricted by the applications, hardware and bandwidth at hand. For example, the server resources are often limited to the server’s storage, CPU and RAM. Floor space is another limited resource for data centers that are located in rented building floors or urban areas, as the result it may also slow down future expansion plans.


Cloud computing is beneficial both for customers and hosting companies as load is balanced throughout the server network to provide better reliability. With better availability of resources, both end users and hosting companies can expand their businesses without incurring extra overhead or inventory. For the first time ever, the hosting industry has something that is both highly reliable and cost effective. Cloud web hosts only bill their customers on the amount of computing resources used. It is like water or electricity bill, you only need to pay what you’ve used. Cloud hosting can keep the price low, when the demand is low and meet the sudden traffic surges. Cloud hosting is all about better pricing and superior reliability.


The cost savings can be achieved through consolidation, flexibility, performance and security. Redundancy is also a major benefit. Because your data is duplicated and stored in multiple servers at different geographical locations, your web site will still works properly even when the primary server is malfunctioning. Web hosts may also reduce their hardware inventory, which leads to lower costs.


Cloud hosting is a highly attractive proposition for those that are involved in e-business and online operations that are restricted by budgetary limitation. Smaller entrepreneurs and businesses can now concentrate more in providing better service to the consumers and on business growth, instead of meddling with technical hosting issues.


The cloud technology is a boon to most IT professionals as they can scale their resources and bandwidth based on the dynamics of loads. Consumers no longer need to frantically request additional bandwidth or storage space, while they’re losing buyers.


What once took multiple IT professionals to do, hosting operations now require fewer people to operate, with complex troubleshooting can be solved simply by isolating troublesome servers and directing the data flow to ‘healthy’ redundant servers, an operation that is often executed automatically.


However, cloud hosting may not be appropriate for certain consumers. People with higher priority on data security, are often feel more inclined to use localized server, where they can physically see and touch the server. Cloud hosting may also cause some legal issues, for example, an European-based website owner that puts his sensitive data in the cloud, may actually have the data stored in the United States, which can be compromised by the US Patriotic Act. So, depending on the nature of your data and business, you should decide whether cloud hosting is the right choice.


Pros:
• More reliable than typical servers
• Lower cost due to better load management
• Better business continuity due to server redundancy and less complex troubleshooting procedures


Cons:
• The location of confidential data is frequently unknown
• Potential legal issues due to the nature of data

Cloud Hosting: Could This Be The Next Big Thing?

The idea of cloud computing has been around for several years now. In its embryonic stages, it existed through SAAS (software as a service) providers. With the price of bandwidth and memory coming down every day, and an increasing number of ways to connect to the internet, cloud storage appears poised to finally enter the mainstream.


For those unfamiliar with cloud hosting and storage, it’s a very simple premise. Instead of using a local hard drive or memory card to store data, you upload it over the internet to a remote cloud hosting provider. From there, you can access your data from a number of devices no matter where you are in the world. Cloud hosting eliminates the hassle of having to backup and bring your data with you on a USB stick or other portable storage.


Until recently, the cloud hosting and storage had only been available in a few niche areas. Over the past couple of years, this has changed as more companies target a mainstream crowd. The company DropBox provides storage for millions of users. Amazon has its own cloud storage service, and also has a cloud-based music player. Google recently rolled out its own Google Music service, allowing users to upload their songs and then listen to them from any browser or Android smartphone or tablet.


The biggest sign that cloud hosting has arrived for the masses, though, is Apple’s introduction of it. Apple has a history of setting trends and dictating what becomes popular. The company made the MP3 player ubiquitous with its introduction of the iPod in 2001. In 2007, they made the smartphone a must-have for millions of consumers when they released the iPhone. Now, in 2011, Apple has introduced iCloud, a service for users to store their music, documents, photos and more on the cloud. With Apple introducing cloud services to the masses, it seems much more likely to catch on than when just a few niche companies were touting the cloud.


There are drawbacks to the cloud, though. It’s not an ideal setup for corporations to use if they are handling sensitive information such as trade secrets. Cloud services also aren’t completely foolproof. If a provider’s storage fails or there is a power outage, it can mean millions of people losing access to their data. For a corporation, this can be worked around. Large companies can set up their own cloud storage systems to enjoy the benefits without the worry. However, for the individual, using cloud services means passively placing a very significant amount of trust in a faceless entity. It means trusting them with your personal photos, your important documents, and anything else that you place value on.


These hurdles will almost surely be overcome. As cloud hosting becomes more popular and more companies pay attention to it, new ideas will be introduced. Companies will almost surely come up with ways to guarantee consumer privacy in an effort to earn new market share. They will also put safeguards in place to prevent data from being lost or inaccessible. It’s almost a given that if power failures are a concern, cloud hosting services will have backup measures in place. Similarly, if data failure is a concern, they’ll use offsite backups to ensure that customer data is safe.


Considering all of the convenience of the cloud, and the fact that current shortcomings will be overcome in the future, cloud hosting looks like it will certainly be huge in the tech industry. Relying on the cloud will allow device manufacturers to ship their products with less built-in storage, bringing down prices. If one thing’s for certain, it’s that consumers like paying less money. That ultimately seems like it will be the driving force in making cloud hosting the next big thing.

Tips to Choose Cloud Hosting

There are numerous hosting options available for businesses as well as individuals. These options include shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers and cloud hosting. Cloud hosting is a relatively newer version of hosting and is dynamically scalable enabling businesses to adjust and change hosting resources according to the growth of the business.


Cloud hosting varies from shared hosting in a lot of ways. Due to this reason, there are different considerations to keep in mind while selecting cloud hosting. If you want to jump on the bandwagon of cloud hosting, follow the tips mentioned below.


1. Operating System: Mostly, cloud hosting plans come with the choice to select your own operating system. The most common options available are Windows or Linux based cloud hosting. Both these operating systems have their set of pros and cons. You will need to select one after weighing both options and matching them with your needs. Windows is user friendly; however, it is expensive and not so fast. Linux is complicated for new users, it is cheap, and offers better performance and speed.


2. Control Panel: A control panel is an extremely important feature when it comes to hosting as it allows the website owner to manage the website and the content. Therefore, the more user-friendly the control panel is, the better it is for you. Check out different control panel options available, research a little about their benefits and weaknesses and select the one you like the most. Among the most common and popular control panels is cPanel. Plesk is another widely used control panel.


3. Consider Payment Options:Hosting companies offer hosting packages on a year to year subscription basis. Some also offer plans on a monthly basis. Therefore, determine how long you will need the hosting services for.  If you do not want to limit yourself because of a contract, you may choose monthly paid plans; however, these plans might cost you a little more.


4. Determine the Space and Bandwidth Needs: You need to determine your needs beforehand. Different cloud hosting providers have different costs on bandwidth usage. Some may offer free unlimited incoming bandwidth, others may provide limited bandwidth. Also, determine the disk space which will be enough for your current business needs. Some hosting providers may also offer flexible pricing with regards to used resources. You may only need to pay for the resources which you used. These options are very beneficial as they give you the best value for money.


5. Scalability: Scalability refers to the flexibility offered by hosting companies to upgrade your plans according to business needs. As the business grows, the needs also change and you may require more and more bandwidth and space to cater for the increasing web traffic. If your hosting provider allows you to upgrade your plan, it is the best deal for you.


Selecting the right kind of cloud hosting will not be difficult if you follow the tips given above. These tips will enable you to identify the good cloud hosting providers from the bad.